BIO 101: Writing Assignment: Compare and Contrast Two Articles
Directions: The purpose of this assignment is to become familiar with different types of sources that are available to us when researching a topic. As you know, we will be examining how information derived from popular press sources and scholarly (peer-reviewed) scientific sources on the same topic vary. To complete the assignment, you will select a scientific topic of interest and use techniques introduced by your librarian to find both scholarly and non-scholarly articles on your scientific topic. In doing so you will work though the “compare and contrast” worksheet provided in canvas as demonstrated by the librarian. Once this portion of the assignment is complete, you can then move on to the actual written assignment. When you are filling out the worksheet, please a blue font to distinguish your answers from the questions. If you’d like, you can paste your entire paper at the end of the worksheet and submit the worksheet and paper as one document.
Part 1: The Worksheet and Prep for Your Paper
Step 1. Pick a Topic. Pick any biology topic such as evolution, biotechnology, genetics, environmental concerns, etc. You can get some ideas from the table of contents of your biology textbook. Topic Selected:
Step 2. Find Two Articles. Find two articles on your selected topic, one that is more popular and one that is more scholarly, using the library article databases linked on the BIO 101 Lab Research Guide . Create citations for the two articles you found:
After you have found your articles and completed your citations, you can have them reviewed by a librarian to check that you have one of each type of article and to check your citations.
Step 3. Read Articles & Take Notes. Look for, identify, and take notes on:
Author credentials: What are the qualifications of the authors to write these articles? What are their educational credentials and affiliations? What experience do they have writing about this topic?
Audience: Who is the intended audience? Consider language/jargon, concepts.
References: Describe any references or works cited, including the amount of references, type of
references, where in the article the references are provided.
Publisher: Identify the publisher and any relevant information about the publisher.
Purpose: Why was the article written?
Editing: Is it peer reviewed? Or basic editing? How do you know?